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Report: Sixers looking to trade up to No. 1 for Andrew Wiggins

andrew-wiggins-kansasThe Philadelphia 76ers have reportedly reached out to the Cleveland Cavaliers to express interest in trading for the No. 1 overall pick in the draft.

ESPN’s Chad Ford reports that the Sixers, who hold both the No. 3 and No. 10 picks in the upcoming draft, are willing to part with the No. 3 pick and Thaddeus Young. Wiggins is also believed to prefer playing for the Sixers over all the teams that have early picks.

In addition, Ford claims the Milwaukee Bucks have settled on Jabari Parker at No. 2. There has been speculation that the Cavs like Joel Embiid more than any other player, so they could — in theory — benefit from the Sixers being desperate to assure themselves the opportunity to draft Wiggins. If the Cavs were planning to take Embiid and the Bucks are set on Parker, they could still draft Embiid at No. 3 and acquire Young as a bonus.

As Eye on Basketball noted, trading the No. 1 pick to Philly would only make sense for the Cavs if they have given up on using it to acquire Kevin Love. It’s also possible that some sort of three-team deal could be worked out if the Cavs want Love, the Timberwolves want multiple picks and the Sixers want the top pick, but that would be a complicated scenario.

Danny Granger does not want to play for 76ers

danny-grangerAs you might expect, Danny Granger was not pleased when he learned he had been traded to the Philadelphia 76ers last week. The Indiana Pacers are the best team in the Eastern Conference, and the Sixers are destined for disappointment. So what can Granger do? Maybe he just won’t show up.

When the 76ers took the court to practice on Sunday, Granger was nowhere to be found. Head coach Brett Brown indicated that he will speak with Granger in the near future now that his physicals are out of the way.

“(Sixers GM Sam Hinkie) has met with him,” Brown told CSNPhilly.com’s Dei Lynam. “He has done his physical. He will come back and I will sit down with him for the first time now that the physicals have been had and talk with him.”

Notice how Brown stopped short of saying he expects Granger to be with the team shortly? As Lynam pointed out, there is a strong possibility that Granger is seeking a buyout and the Sixers could grant him his wish.

Granger is owed about $5 million of his $14 million salary for the 2013-2014 season. He will be a free agent when the season ends, at which point he will be a 31-year-old player with knee problems. Granger wants a chance to contend for a title now and it would seem that Philadelphia has little use for him. Would he even be giving a full effort if they kept him? Probably not.

H/T Pro Basketball Talk

Doug Collins reportedly tells Sixers he will resign at the end of the season

doug-collinsDoug Collins has had some frustrating seasons since he took over as head coach of the Philadelphia 76ers in 2010, but this has to be the worst. Coming off a 35-31 season last year in which they lost in the Eastern Conference semifinals, the Sixers made what appeared to be a franchise-altering move in acquiring center Andrew Bynum from the Los Angeles Lakers. As we know, that couldn’t have gone any worse.

Bynum has missed the entire season with knee problems and has made headlines for nothing but his crazy hair. Philadelphia is 33-47 and has been eliminated from playoff contention. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, Collins has informed ownership that he will be calling it quits at the end of the season.

The 61-year-old coach has one year and $4.5 million remaining on his current four-year deal, and ownership would reportedly like him to return. Wojnarowski added that the possibility of Collins returning to the franchise in another role aside from coaching has not been ruled out.

Collins has made it known at various points throughout the season that he is frustrated with the Sixers, the most recent of which came when he ripped the team for losing six straight games in February. What started out looking like the beginning of an exciting new chapter with Bynum on board quickly turned into another sub-par season, and from the sound of it the lack of success has taken its toll on Collins.

Sixers exec already preparing for NBA Draft lottery

NBA draft lottery ping pongThe Philadelphia 76ers entered the NBA season with plenty of optimism. They were expecting to build upon last year’s second-round playoff appearance, but things have not gone as planned. Big offseason acquisition Andrew Bynum has been bothered by knee problems and hasn’t played in a single game. As a result, the team is 24-40 and headed for its second-worst season since 1997-98.

Aware that this season is a bust, Sixers CEO and co-owner Adam Aron already has his eye on the team improving its chances in the NBA Draft lottery. It started with a tweet from Aron, who was pulling for his squad to beat Miami on Wednesday and end the Heat’s 19-game winning streak:

Aron is in a win-win situation. Getting a big win over Miami or Brooklyn would be thrilling, but a loss increases the team’s chances of getting a higher pick in the draft:

It doesn’t seem like Aron is too concerned about the team faring poorly the rest of the way, does it? He shouldn’t be. At this point, getting a higher pick in the draft is probably best for the team, as is releasing Andrew Bynum.

H/T Spike Eskin

Andrew Bynum admits he may not play this season, doesn’t want to play in pain

Andrew-Bynum-hairIn listening to Philadelphia 76ers coach Doug Collins’ rant earlier this week, it was easy to get the impression that he is not holding out hope that Andrew Bynum will be able to play his first game as a Sixer this season. Bynum and his insane hair recently told reporters that he is positive he will play this year, but there are only 26 games remaining on Philly’s schedule.

On Friday, CSNPhilly.com’s Dei Lynam and John Gonzalez shared some comments from Bynum that indicate he realizes his season is slipping away.

“Bynum said ‘I really don’t know’ when asked if he’ll play this year,” Gonzalez wrote on Twitter Friday afternoon. “Knee is swollen from last Friday’s practice. When asked if he’s worried about the perception that he doesn’t want to play in pain, Bynum said ‘that’s true, I don’t want to play in pain.'”

Lynam shared more of the same from Bynum, adding that he said his health is more important and that the season is running short on time.

As Kurt Helin of Pro Basketball Talk pointed out, Bynum is an unrestricted free agent after this year. His knees are obviously a major concern, but he’s only 25 years old. Some team is going to be willing to open their checkbook and give him a solid amount of money whether he plays a game this season or not.

Will that team be the Sixers, or will Bynum never play a game for Philadelphia? You could argue that the Sixers wagered their entire future to acquire Bynum in hopes that he becomes the cornerstone of their franchise, so they almost have to bring him back. Otherwise, they’ll be getting literally nothing in return on their investment. Well, aside from a few laughs on account of his hair.

Photo via Twitter/Jordan Raanan

Doug Collins rips Sixers after sixth straight loss

doug-collinsThe Philadelphia 76ers are slipping out of playoff contention, and head coach Doug Collins is becoming more frustrated by the day. Collins has watched his team lose six straight games. It is the third time Philly has lost five or more games in a row this seasons, and the coach is running out of answers.

“Well I sure didn’t see this effort coming,” Collins said after watching his team lose to the 16-41 Orlando Magic on Tuesday, via CSNPhilly.com. “I thought we played incredibly hard against Miami. I thought we played incredibly hard in New York on Sunday. And this is mind-numbing to me. We went up 29-20, and from that point on, I couldn’t even tell you what occurred.”

Collins ripped his players for a lack of effort since the All-Star break, but did mention that the team they assembled in the offseason has yet to take the floor together because of injuries like the one to Andrew Bynum. When asked if there’s anything he can do to make his guys play harder, he gave the following response.

“Can I tell you something? If everybody looked inside themselves as much as I did, this world would be a CAT scan,” Collins said. “OK? I mean, believe me, there’s not two days go by that I don’t to go Rod [Thorn], I don’t go to Tony [DiLeo] — what can I do? Can I do anything different? How can I be a better coach? How can I be a better leader? How can I help these guys? Sometimes you’ve gotta help yourself. You know? Sometimes you’ve gotta help yourself. Youth is a very blaming thing.”

The Sixers made a major trade in the offseason and have had nothing to show for it. You can blame Andrew Bynum and his bowling adventures if you want, but that’s not going to bring the star center back any quicker. With Philly in 10th place in the East and Collins recently expressing doubt that Bynum will be back anytime soon, it may only get worse from here.

76ers welcome Andrew Bynum with billboard (Picture)

The Philadelphia 76ers sure are excited to have Andrew Bynum on the team.

The organization didn’t even need a day to create a billboard welcoming the former Lakers center to town. The billboard seen above was set up by the team’s marketing department the day the four-team trade involving the Sixers, Lakers, Nuggets, and Magic was announced.

Bynum was sent to Philadelphia along with Jason Richardson as part of the trade. He hasn’t spoken publicly about the trade yet, but Sixers president and GM Rod Thorn says the center is excited about it.

“Andrew was very happy about being traded to us. He thinks we have a good team,” Thorn told CSN Phily.

Thorn also thinks the Sixers have a good chance of signing Bynum, who is entering the final year of his contract, to a long-term deal.

“He is from New Jersey and he is more of an East Coast guy than a West Coast type of guy and we think he will be very happy here. You never know until it happens, but I feel he’ll like it here and want to continue his career here.”

I know Philly is excited to have him and all, but I think that will wear off quickly once they get a taste of the youngster’s problematic behavior. He’s talented, but he’s a pain in the butt, and he’s been clear that he’s there for the money. The only good news is that they have a no-nonsense coach like Doug Collins, but I don’t think he’ll be enough to keep Bynum in check.

Photo credit: Michael Preston via Bryan A. Graham